“Breakfast of Legends” Honors Supporters

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center (MSAHC) honored four individuals and a nonprofit organization for their commitment to the young people of New York City at its eleventh annual “Breakfast of Legends” event held Thursday, October 23, at The Plaza Hotel.

The MSAHC is one of the largest and most comprehensive adolescent health centers in the nation, and provides free medical, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, dental, and optical services to more than 11,000 underserved youth and young adults, ages 10 to 24.

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Mount Sinai and Healthfirst® Introduce New Medicare Advantage Insurance Plan

The Mount Sinai Health System and Healthfirst, a leading managed care organization serving more than one million members in downstate New York, have launched a unique, co-branded Medicare Advantage (MA) insurance plan for Manhattan residents. Eligible Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Healthfirst Mount Sinai Select (HMO) between October 15 and December 7, 2014, for coverage effective January 1, 2015.

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Third Annual SINAInnovations Conference “Engineering and Medicine”

This year’s program will feature a number of exciting speakers, exhibitors, and demonstrations exploring the expanding interface between engineering and medicine—and how it is transforming all aspects of health care.

Topics include: breakthroughs in material science, nanotechnology, and imaging; genomics and personalized medicine; transformative technologies, including apps, software, and mobile technologies; and engineering to improve global health.

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Unnecessary Tests and Procedures in the Health Care System

The Choosing Wisely article noted “Physicians Say Unnecessary Tests and Procedures Are a Serious Problem, and Feel a Responsibility to Address the Issue.”

“Physicians say unnecessary tests and procedures represent a serious problem in the health care system. A majority of physicians feels a strong responsibility to help their patients avoid unnecessary care.”

“84 percent of physicians are interested in learning more about evidence-based recommendations that address when tests and procedures may be unnecessary. Physicians with exposure to the Choosing Wisely campaign are 17 points more likely to have reduced the number of tests or procedures they have done in the last 12 months. 45 percent of primary care physicians say they have seen or heard about the Choosing Wisely campaign after a description.”

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“…Physicians Believe That Fellow Doctors Prescribe an Unnecessary Test or Procedure…”

The Kaiser Health News article noted “The most frequent reasons that physicians order extraneous—and costly—medical care are fears of being sued, impulses to be extra careful and desires to reassure their own assessments of the patient…”

“… Choosing Wisely, a two-year old campaign devised by a foundation created by internal medicine doctors … has persuaded nearly 60 medical societies to identify overused tests and procedures. The goal is to cut back on needless medical care, which by some estimates may waste a third of the $2.8 trillion the country spends on health each year.”

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Hospital Runs Ad for $1,995 Colonoscopies in Sunday Newspaper

The Becker Hospital Review article reported “A hospital in New Hampshire is garnering some attention after it advertised its colonoscopies for a flat rate in the Sunday newspaper.”

“Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., is using CareBundles to set all-inclusive fees for colonoscopies, hernia repair ($4,995) and knee arthroscopy ($5,995), according to a New Hampshire Public Radio report. Only the uninsured can get these set-price procedures for now, although the hospital is hoping to launch relationships with employers.”

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“Incidentalomas” + – Concerns about Overdiagnosing and Overtreating Cancer

The Wall Street Journal article noted “Removing the word ‘cancer’ from the terminology used for many slow-growing lesions in the breast, prostate, lung, skin and other body areas could ease patients’ fears and reduce the inclination of doctors to treat them aggressively, says a panel of experts advising the National Cancer Institute.”

“…new diagnostic technology is finding ever smaller abnormalities that are unlikely to be lethal, but are being labeled cancer and treated as if they were. The result: billions of dollars in unnecessary surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

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Dirty Dollars! “Talk about Dirty Money: Scientists Are Discovering a Surprising Number of Microbes Living on Cash.”

The Wall Street Journal article noted “In the first comprehensive study of the DNA on dollar bills, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project found that currency is a medium of exchange for hundreds of different kinds of bacteria as bank notes pass from hand to hand.”

“In the first genome study of the DNA on money, NYU researchers identified 3,000 types of bacteria on a set of one-dollar bills collected in New York.”

“Easily the most abundant species they found is one that causes acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections, the scientists said. Some carried genes responsible for antibiotic resistance.”

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1881 – Assassination of President Garfield

“What Dr. Towsend did next was something that Joseph Lister, despite years spent traveling the world, proving the source of infection and pleading with physicians to sterilize their hands and instruments, had been unable to prevent. As the president lay on the train station floor, one of the most germ-infested environments imaginable, Towsend inserted an unsterilized finger into the would in his back, causing a small hemorrhage, and almost certainly introducing an infection that was far more lethal than Guiteau’s bullet.”

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Childhood Fever – Nineteenth Century Medical Mystery

Ignaz Semmelweis, a young Hungarian doctor working in the obstetrical ward of Vienna General Hospital in the late 1840s, was dismayed at the high death rate among his patients.

He had noticed that nearly 20% of the women under his and his colleagues’ care in “Division I” (physicians and male medical students) of the ward died shortly after childbirth.

This phenomenon had come to be known as “childbed fever.” Alarmingly, Semmelweis noted that this death rate was four to five times greater than that in “Division II” (female midwifery students) of the ward.

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